Decision-makers on all levels are provided with a new tool to tackle the climate challenge. Data and explanations on global warming impacts – from floods to droughts - are made more accessible to the public by a team of 12 international research institutes. The online portal ISIpedia launched in June features science explained by the scientists, breaking down global studies to the country-level, for both adaptation and mitigation planning.
“Understanding the problem can be a powerful tool to help build a safe climate future for all,” says Katja Frieler, the ISIpedia project leader from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research. “We are all decision-makers on this topic and our decisions should ideally be based on an understanding of the problem and latest scientific findings. That is why on ISIpedia climate impact scientists not only provide easily accessible data, condensed in maps and graphs, and crucial country-level information derived from dissecting global studies but also an insight into the analyses themselves. On ISIpedia they tell about the research process, the methods they apply, what we do not know and what we know for sure.”
“ISIpedia will grow and mature,” says Frieler. “It is our aim to put the evidence on the table that citizens as well as businesses and policy-makers, can take best-informed decisions when it comes to acting on the climate crisis.”
Articles on the new platform all fall into three categories: The first one is ‘Observed impacts’ and about questions such as ‘Is the reported increase in flood induced damages already induced by climate change?’. The second category is ‘Model evaluation’, i.e. the questions whether the tools to project climate impacts into the future are good enough. Are the crop-models for example able to reproduce the strong drop in maize yields that has been observed in the US at very high temperatures? The third category is ‘future projections’ and really about risks climate change will pose to natural systems and our societies.
ISIpedia makes climate impacts concrete on the country level. For example, policy makers and adaptation planners from Egypt can learn that, assuming a +2 °C warming level, their country is on top of the ranking of people exposed to river flooding. China, a top global emitter, is on rank 24 and hence also increasingly exposed.
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